Family Bush-warblers (Scotocercidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus)


French: Bouscarle de Temminck German: Bergschneidervogel Spanish: Sastrecillo montano
Other common names: Leafworker

Orthotomus euculatus

[sic] Temminck

, 1836,



Formerly considered conspecific with P. heterolaemus. Several apparently unnamed races exist on large islands E of Sulawesi. Original spelling of species name emended on basis of information contained in original description#R. Fourteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. coronatus (Blyth, 1861) – NE India (Darjeeling and Sikkim E to Arunachal Pradesh, also Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland), Bhutan and N, W & E Myanmar E to S China (W & SE Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong), S to N Thailand, SW Cambodia, Laos and N & C Vietnam.
  • P. c. thais Robinson & Kloss, 1923 – S Thailand.
  • P. c. malayanus Chasen, 1938 – Peninsular Malaysia.
  • P. c. cucullatus (Temminck, 1836) – Sumatra, Java and Bali.
  • P. c. cinereicollis Sharpe, 1888 – mountain ranges of Borneo.
  • P. c. philippinus E. J. O. Hartert, 1897 – N Philippines (Luzon).
  • P. c. viridicollis (Salomonsen, 1962) – W Philippines (Palawan).
  • P. c. riedeli A. B. Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1895 – N Sulawesi.
  • P. c. stentor Stresemann, 1938 – C & SE Sulawesi.
  • P. c. meisei Stresemann, 1931 – SC Sulawesi.
  • P. c. hedymeles Stresemann, 1932 – S Sulawesi (Lompobattang Massif).
  • P. c. batjanensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1912 – Bacan (off SW Halmahera).
  • P. c. dumasi E. J. O. Hartert, 1899 – Buru and Seram (S Moluccas).
  • P. c. everetti E. J. O. Hartert, 1897 – Flores (Lesser Sundas).
  • Undetermined races on Peleng#R (off E Sulawesi), Taliabu#R (Sula Is) and Obi I#R (off S Halmahera).

    Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; 6–7 g. A distinctive tailorbird with bright yellow lower underparts, relatively clear but short supercilium, relatively long bill slightly decurved... read more


    Song very thin, high-pitched and almost ethereal in quality, distinctly ventriloquial, a series of... read more


    Favours bushy thickets, bamboos and hanging tangles within broadleaf evergreen forest, especially... read more

    Food and feeding

    No precise data on diet apart from insects; doubtless feeds on a variety of tiny invertebrates. Typically in pairs, or small family parties... read more


    Season May–Jul in NE India, Feb–Apr in SE Asia and Jul–Aug in Sulawesi, coinciding with wet season. Nest composed of fine... read more


    Resident and altitudinal migrant; in NE India many make post-breeding descent to foothills, some... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Probably reasonably numerous in suitable habitats over wide range, but unobtrusive song and retiring nature render it easily overlooked. Several... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).